Afcon 2021 – Senegal vs Zimbabwe: Everything you need to know

Zimbabwe will face Senegal in their opening Group B of the Afcon 2021 this afternoon.

The Warriors are making their fifth appearance at the tournament and a third in succession.

Here is everything you need to know about the game.

Competition: Afcon 2021, Group B – Matchday 1

Date, Kick-off time & Venue: Monday 10 January 2022, 3 pm CAT (Zim/SA) at Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam, Cameroon.

How to watch the game:
DStv’s SuperSport will broadcast the match live. For South African accounts, SuperSport Variety 3 will show the game, while for Zimbabwean accounts, it will be on SuperSport Variety 1.

National broadcaster ZBC TV is expected to bring the coverage of the encounter.

DSTV App and Showmax will deliver a live stream feed.

Soccer24 will also bring live updates of the tie.

Warriors team news:
The Warriors squad has a clean bill of health after all the players tested negative in the Covid-19 PCR tests conducted on Sunday.

There are also no injuries reported, meaning all the twenty-two players in camp will be available for selection.

Only Jordan Zemura will be missing after failing to travel to Cameroon as scheduled following an outbreak at his club Bournemouth.

The utility player is expected to join the team once he is cleared.

Warriors Predicted XI: P. Mhari, T. Chimwemwe, B. Kangwa, T. Hadebe, G. Takwara, K. Madzongwe, K. Benyu, N. Tigere, K. Musona, I. Wadi, T. Kadewere.

Senegal team News:
Three players – goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, captain Kalidou Koulibaly and Forward Famara Diedhiou – came out positive in the latest round of COVID-19 testing. The trio will not be available for selection.

Other players to miss this opener include Saliou Ciss, Bamba Dieng, Mame Baba Thiam, Pape Matar Sarr, Alfred Gomis.

Senegal Predicted XI: Dieng; Mbaye, Diallo, Cisse, Ballo-Toure; Gueye, Kouyate, I Sarr, Mane, Diallo, Dia.

What the coaches said:
Norman Mapeza: “I am more than happy (with the preparations). We are ready.

“We have to go there with maximum concentration and a positive mind. It’s all about mental strength, and that is what I have been telling the guys. Any result is achievable in football.”

Aliou Cisse: “It’s a difficult and complicated situation.

“But we are going to be competitive, and those there are going to play for those who are absent.

“We are still going into the game against Zimbabwe full of confidence.”

Head-to-Head Stats:
The two sides have met nine times across all competitions, with the first encounter coming in 1985. The fixture has been closely contested, but Senegal have dominated in recent years.

The recent meeting happened at COSAFA Cup in July 2021. The game ended in a 2-1 win for the Lions of Teranga.

Zimbabwe: Played – 9, Won – 4, Drawn – 0, Lost – 5.
Senegal: Played – 9, Won – 5, Drawn – 0, Lost – 4.

Form Guide (Last 5 in all competitions):
Senegal: W-D-W-W-W
Zimbabwe: D-D-L-L-L

Zimbabwe are ranked 121st in the world and number 31 in Africa by FIFA.

Senegal is the top-ranked team at the tournament, occupying the first position on the continent and number 20 on the global ranking.

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